For the first 16 months of the Trump administration, European governments have sought to work closely with the United States, rather than opposing it publicly. However, differences over the Iran nuclear deal, the Paris Climate Accord, trade, and the nature of sovereignty have led some observers to predict the end of the Atlantic alliance. On May 24, the Brookings Institution convened an expert panel to discuss the trajectory of trans-Atlantic relations; whether the allies can bridge the gaps that divide them; how important Europe, and particularly the European Union, is to the Trump administration; and whether European states can and will fend for themselves.
The discussion featured Brookings’s Robert Bosch Senior Fellows Amanda Sloat and Constanze Stelzenmüller, Célia Belin, visiting fellow in the Center on the United States and Europe at Brookings, and Kenneth R. Weinstein, president and CEO of Hudson Institute. Edward Luce, Washington columnist and commentator for the Financial Times, moderated the discussion.
After the discussion, panelists took questions from the audience.
This discussion is part of the Brookings – Robert Bosch Foundation Transatlantic Initiative, which aims to build up and expand resilient networks and trans-Atlantic activities to analyze and work on issues concerning trans-Atlantic relations and social cohesion in Europe and the United States.
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The French might have been presumptuous, or a bit too clever, in seeing Trump only as an opportunity. It comes with a cost. The cost being the division of Europe... [Trump's] clear favoritism [for nationalist-led countries like Poland, Hungary, and Italy can exacerbate divisions within Europe]... Macron wants to be a strong leader that Trump disagrees with but respects for being strong.